Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is the presiding officer of the provincial legislature. Since 1990 the position has been elected by MPPs using a secret ballot. Previously, the Speaker had been appointed by the Premier of Ontario after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the third party and then ratified by the legislature. David Warner was the first Speaker to be elected by his or her peers.
The Speaker is usually a member of the governing party. The only exceptions have been Jack Stokes, Nelson Parliament and Hugh Edighoffer. Stokes was the NDP MPP for Lake Nipigon, and was named Speaker by Progressive Conservative Premier Bill Davis. Davis was elected to lead a minority government and having an opposition MPP as Speaker was a means of denying the opposition one vote (as the Speaker only votes in the occasion of a tie and then must vote by precedent). Nelson Parliament was a Liberal who became Speaker when the United Farmers of Ontario formed government as the entire UFO/Labour caucus were freshly elected with no legislative experience. As a result the Premier, E.C. Drury, looked to the opposition benches for a Speaker. Upon becoming Speaker, Parliament resigned from the Liberal caucus and sat without party affiliation. While this is the normal practice in the British House of Commons, it is the only time it has happened in Ontario.
Hugh Edighoffer was elected Speaker following the 1985 provincial election that returned a tenuous minority Progressive Conservative government under Frank Miller. However, the opposition Liberals and NDP controlled the legislature and elected Edighoffer as Speaker at the beginning of the session. Days later, the Miller government was brought down by a Motion of Non-Confidence and, as a result of an accord between the Liberals and the NDP, Liberal leader David Peterson was asked to form a government without the legislature being dissolved and a new election. Edighoffer, a Liberal MPP, remained Speaker for the duration of the Peterson government.
2011 Speaker election
There were nine candidates for the position of Speaker in the 40th Ontario legislature, held after the 2011 provincial election returned a minority Liberal government. Liberals Donna Cansfield, Kevin Flynn, Dave Levac and David Zimmer. A fifth candidate, Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees withdrew after his bid failed to receive sufficient support from either side of the aisle.
David Zimmer dropped off after the first ballot. On the second ballot, Dave Levac was elected Speaker. The actual vote totals were not released.
2014 Speaker election
Liberal MPP Dave Levac was re-elected to a second term as Speaker at the first session of the 41st Parliament held on July 2, 2014, becoming the first Speaker since Hugh Edighoffer to serve more than one term. Levac defeated NDP MPP Paul Miller and Progressive Conservative Rick Nicholls on the third ballot. NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo was eliminated on the first ballot and Liberal MPP Shafiq Qaadri was eliminated on the second ballot. Actual vote totals were not released.
Speakers of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
|Legislature||Speaker by Order of Election||Speaker||Party[note 1]||Term Began||Term Ended||Term Length|
|1||1||Stevenson, John||Conservative||27 December 1867||7 December 1871||3 years, 345 days|
|2||2||Scott, Richard William||Liberal||7 December 1871||21 December 1871||14 days|
|2||3||Currie, James George||Liberal||21 December 1871||29 March 1873||1 year, 98 days|
|2, 3||4||Wells, Rupert Mearse||Liberal||7 January 1874||7 January 1880||6 years, 0 days|
|4, 5||5||Clarke, Charles J. P.[note 2]||Liberal||7 January 1880||10 February 1887||7 years, 34 days|
|6||6||Baxter, Jacob||Liberal||10 February 1887||11 February 1891||4 years, 1 day|
|7||7||Ballantyne, Thomas||Liberal||11 February 1891||21 February 1895||4 years, 10 days|
|8||8||Balfour, William Douglas||Liberal||21 February 1895||14 July 1896||1 year, 144 days|
|8, 9||9||Evanturel, Francis Eugene Alfred||Liberal||10 February 1897||10 March 1903||6 years, 239 days|
|10||10||Charlton, William Andrew||Liberal||10 March 1903||22 March 1905||2 years, 12 days|
|11||11||St. John, Joseph Wesley||Conservative||22 March 1905||7 April 1907||2 years, 16 days|
|11, 12||12||Crawford, Thomas||Conservative||8 April 1907||7 February 1912||4 years, 306 days|
|13||13||Hoyle, William Henry||Conservative||7 February 1912||16 February 1915||3 years, 9 days|
|14||14||Jamieson, David||Conservative||16 February 1915||9 March 1920||5 years, 22 days|
|15||15||Parliament, Nelson||Liberal[note 3]||9 March 1920||6 February 1924||3 years, 334 days|
|16||16||Thompson, Joseph Elijah||Conservative||6 February 1924||2 February 1927||2 years, 361 days|
|17||17||Black, William David||Conservative||2 February 1927||5 February 1930||3 years, 3 days|
|18||18||Kidd, Thomas Ashmore||Conservative||5 February 1930||20 February 1935||5 years, 15 days|
|19, 20||19||Hipel, Norman Otto||Liberal||20 February 1935||2 September 1938||3 years, 194 days|
|20||20||Clark, James Howard||Liberal||8 March 1939||22 February 1944||4 years, 351 days|
|21, 22||21||Stewart, William James||Conservative||22 February 1944||21 March 1947||3 years, 27 days|
|22||22||Hepburn, James de Congalton||Conservative||24 March 1947||10 February 1949||1 year, 323 days|
|23, 24||23||Davies, M.C.||Conservative||10 February 1949||8 September 1955||6 years, 210 days|
|25||24||Downer, Alfred||Progressive Conservative (PC)||8 September 1955||26 January 1960||4 years, 140 days|
|26||25||Murdoch, William||Progressive Conservative (PC)||26 January 1960||29 October 1963||3 years, 276 days|
|27||26||Morrow, Donald Hugo||Progressive Conservative (PC)||29 October 1963||14 February 1968||4 years, 108 days|
|28||27||Cass, Frederick McIntosh||Progressive Conservative (PC)||14 February 1968||13 December 1971||3 years, 302 days|
|29||28||Reuter, Allan Edward||Progressive Conservative (PC)||13 December 1971||22 October 1974||2 years, 313 days|
|29, 30, 31||29||Rowe, Russell Daniel||Progressive Conservative (PC)||22 October 1974||17 October 1977||2 years, 360 days|
|31||30||Stokes, John Edward "Jack"||New Democratic Party (NDP)||17 October 1977||21 April 1981||3 years, 186 days|
|32||31||Turner, John M.||Progressive Conservative (PC)||21 April 1981||4 June 1985||4 years, 44 days|
|33, 34||32||Edighoffer, Hugh Alden||Liberal||4 June 1985||19 November 1990||5 years, 168 days|
|35||33||Warner, David William||New Democratic Party (NDP)||19 November 1990||26 September 1995||4 years, 311 days|
|36||34||McLean, Al||Progressive Conservative (PC)||26 September 1995||26 September 1996||1 year, 0 days|
|36||35||Doyle, Edward||Progressive Conservative (PC)||26 September 1996||3 October 1996||7 days|
|36||36||Stockwell, Chris||Progressive Conservative (PC)||3 October 1996||20 October 1999||3 years, 17 days|
|37||37||Carr, Gary||Progressive Conservative (PC)||20 October 1999||19 November 2003||4 years, 30 days|
|38||38||Curling, Alvin||Liberal||19 November 2003||19 August 2005||1 year, 326 days|
|38||39||Brown, Michael A.||Liberal||11 October 2005||28 November 2007||2 years, 48 days|
|39||40||Peters, Stephen||Liberal||28 November 2007||21 November 2011||3 years, 358 days|
|40, 41||41||Levac, Dave||Liberal||21 November 2011||3 years, 227 days|
- Progressive Conservative (PC); Conservative; Liberal; New Democratic Party (NDP)
- Charles Clarke was also Clerk of the Assembly from 1892-1907, being the only Member to serve as both Speaker and Clerk.
- Nelson Parliament was elected to the Liberal Party, however as the United Farmers won a Majority Government, and none had experience in the Legislature, Parliament was selected from the Opposition to become Speaker; he subsequently resigned his party membership and sat as an independent. To date, he is the only Ontario Speaker who has done so, while it is common practice in the United Kingdom.
- The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from the Ontario Legislative Assembly website. Biography of the current speaker and a history of the office.
- List of historical speakers.